A new battery design developed at the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials promises some interesting energy storage possibilities, thanks to the ability to bend and stretch like a snake. This ability to mimic the behavior of individual scales could lead to a snake-inspired battery finding application in the world of soft robotics, wearable electronics or other applications where flexibility is an important attribute.
The innovative new battery design was developed as a more flexible solution for energy storage in wearable devices and robots. The idea is to have a series of rigid but small batteries connected to each other to form an overlapping scale-like structure that can bend and deform with the device.
To do this, the scientists used small lithium-ion batteries in hexagonal shapes as "scales" and connected them using polymer and copper materials that also act as a hinge, providing stable deformations without damage. The shape of each hexagonal cell was also carefully optimized to maximize overall battery capacity.
Tests conducted by the team showed that the tensile lithium battery can maintain its performance even when bent and stretched at 90% for more than 36,000 cycles.
Due to these unique capabilities, the battery can find applications, for example, in search and rescue robots, which need to get through narrow spaces in natural disasters, or multifunctional soft robots with artificial muscles.
Source: eurekalert, liebertpub